VIKINGS IN GRAND FINAL, DISTRICTS END LIONS
By CONNOR PAIN
Altona has booked its spot in the TIV Division 1 Grand Final after a comeback win against Caroline Springs, holding off the minor premiers in a frantic last quarter.
The Vikings have earned the week off ahead of the last game of the season, forcing the Lakers to make it to the big dance the hard way after they were unable to maintain leads after the first and second terms.
Caroline Springs couldn’t have asked for much more thanks to a four goal to two first quarter, as their strong defence limited the Vikings in opportunities going forward.
The second quarter saw them re-establish their footing in the contest as they won the second term, but were still trailing at the main break.
As they did in their previous matchup that saw the Vikings end the Lakers undefeated streak, the second half restart saw Altona slowly start to turn the game in their favour.
Their defensive intensity (and poor kicking) limited Caroline Springs to just six behinds in the third term and saw them enter the final break tied.
The third was just the warmup for the fourth quarter as both sides went hammer and tong for close to 30 minutes, but it was the Vikings who emerged victorious, the six-point win cementing their spot in the Grand Final.
Joel Menadue lead all scorers with three majors and was Altona’s best, but it was the Vikings defence that should get all the plaudits as they held two of the competition’s best forwards in Ryan Allan and Steven Kyriazis to three goals combined.
The week off will allow Altona to recover from the bruising game and possibly see the return of Mitch Norton who injured his shoulder in the qualifying final against Deer Park.
Werribee Districts has officially ended Deer Park’s historic premiership run and is one win away from a grand final birth after a 24-point triumph against the Lions.
Entering the game as the underdogs mattered little to Districts, who burst out of the blocks with six goals in the opening term and didn’t look back.
Poor kicking aided Werribee as Deer Park had kicked just two goals and nine behinds through half time.
The second half was much of the same for the Lions, never able to get on the right path due to inaccuracy in front of goal.
Districts went from strength to strength, as their lead never fell below 24 points after quarter time.
The Lions were able to win the final term, but it was too little too late, its earlier poor goalkicking costing them and ending their season without a grand final win for the first time since 2012.
Werribee will enter its preliminary final clash with Caroline Springs full of confidence and with nothing to lose, all the pressure on the minor premiers with the winner facing Altona in the Grand Final on September 17.
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